Conservation South Luangwa works with community and conservation partners to protect the wildlife and habitats of the South Luangwa National Park in Zambia. Their aim is to secure the long-term survival of wildlife and habitats. As a regular visitor to the park, it’s an aspiration I wholeheartedly support.
As an animal sculptor, I’m in a fantastic position to use my time sculpting to generate funds to help conserve the animals I love. It’s one of the ways I can give back to the natural world that has blessed me with so many wonderful opportunities and experiences.
In December 2023 I was co-leading Wildlife Worldwide’s Festival of Wildlife in Zambia’s South Luangwa National Park. South Luangwa is a wildlife paradise, with exquisite light, stunning scenery and a myriad of animals including leopard, lion, wild dog, elephant and a range of nocturnal species.
These Wildlife Festivals culminate in a gala evening fundraising charity auction in support of nature conservation projects. This time it was the turn of Conservation South Luangwa, who gave us a demonstration of their anti wildlife trafficking sniffer dogs at work detecting a hidden pangolin scale.
As a keen dog lover, this was thrilling to watch. The charity adopts dogs showing the right skills and aptitude from animal rescue centres. The dogs are currently sourced from the US, but the plan is to roll out the programme across Africa to help detect illegal wildlife products. The K9 force, as it’s called, is used at roadblocks, village searches and airports.
Having led many workshops in the park, I was delighted to be able to donate a small wild dog pup, signed Zambia 2023, to help raise funds to support the charity’s crucial animal and nature conservation work. The gala event in Zambia raised an impressive total of £10,000.
Recently, I donated another sculpture, of a walrus and pup, to a charity auction held by Explorers Against Extinction, which supports partners worldwide to help maintain and restore key species and ecosystems. This event raised another £10,000 in support of Conservation South Luangwa’s anti-snaring and wildlife rescue operations.
My art has always been informed by my life-long love of animals. Much of my work is based on observations in the wild. This is really the only way to connect with my subjects on their own level. Naturally, I feel a deep and profound responsibility to give something back to wildlife. I’ve supported various animal and nature conservation charities over the years, using my animal sculptures to raise much needed funds for this vital work. I would encourage you all to visit the websites linked above and give these organisations your support in any way possible.